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MARTIN HARPER

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Editor, The Beacon:

In response to your article in the Sept. 8-14 paper regarding cities increasing taxes, it appears one-sided. Orange City has decreased the millage rate for the past three years.

In the meantime, growth has expanded the need for services.

It is easy to complain about taxes increasing while ignoring the needs of a city’s citizens. Police, fire, utilities and other services are required to serve the city’s needs. If you want lower taxes, you must be willing to forgo services for an expanding population.

Orange City’s budget has remained grossly the same for the past few years. The 2022-23 budget has a carryover of about $5 million for ongoing projects, giving the false appearance of a large increase.

A thorough understanding of the facts is difficult to explain simply by stating “taxes are increasing.”

Orange City does a good job of balancing costs with services to our citizens, in my opinion.

Martin Edward Harper

Orange City

Editor’s note — While Orange City has lowered its tax rate, the city has not gone as low as the rollback rate over the past three years. Because property values typically increase year to year, any rate above rollback will produce a tax increase, though not necessarily for every individual property.

Harper is a member of the Orange City Council. He is running for re-election; his opponent in the Tuesday, Nov. 8, election is Fran Darms.

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